I realize the inevitability of leaving my family and my home country Bulgaria to achieve my goals. But ‘nostalgia’ is a weak word to describe my relationship with the past. In this 59-inch drawing, I explore the emotional power of severance between parent and child, past and present, memory and reality. Severance, like nuclear fission, leads to destruction and chaos but is also the impetus for flourishing and beauty. I chose Zavet as this exhibition’s title because the word’s double meaning in Bulgarian refers to ancestral heritage and a safe space from external forces. I reference Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, and motifs of Bulgarian poetry to draw the mother, child, and lower-right corner, and I borrow from Cubism, German Expressionism, and Speer architecture to depict the environment outside the circle. I use charcoal and pencil to guide the viewer’s eye to light that emerges from dark midtones and shadows. My goal is to peel the layers of contemporary discourse and illuminate a universal truth about our relationship with family and the past.